June 27, 2014 4:27 am JST

Japan's fiscal 2013 tax revenue tops official projections

TOKYO -- Japan's general-account tax revenue totaled 46.95 trillion yen ($457 billion) last fiscal year, beating government estimates to reach the highest level since fiscal 2007, thanks to growth in both income tax and corporate tax revenue.

     This marks an increase of just over 3 trillion yen from fiscal 2012's tax receipts and trounces the 44.3 trillion yen collected in fiscal 2008, when the financial crisis broke out. The fiscal 2013 supplementary budget from December estimated tax revenue of 45.35 trillion yen.

     Income tax contributed around 15.5 trillion yen, roughly 700 billion yen more than projected, according to the Finance Ministry. Capital gains tax revenue swelled after many investors sold off shares in 2013 to lock in profits ahead of a tax hike implemented in January.

     Corporate tax revenue came to 10.5 trillion yen, about 400 billion yen more than expected, thanks to earnings buoyed by the economic recovery and a softer currency. Some had seen receipts eclipsing the estimate by 1 trillion yen, but earnings at small and midsize businesses made little headway.

     The weak yen lifted the value of exports in yen terms as well, boosting consumption tax and tariff revenue. And a surge in demand ahead of April's consumption tax hike lifted the take from tobacco.

     The government and ruling coalition will likely see calls for fiscal spending to create an environment conducive to plans to raise the sales tax from 8% to 10% in October 2015. Some in the government also hold that the extra business tax revenue from fiscal 2013 should go toward paying for a corporate tax cut planned for next fiscal year.